Generator recommendations


Active Member
Sorry if this is not in the right forum.

Just finished a 5 day power outage in my area from an ice storm.

I have a Honda ES6500 and a smaller 3500 watt generator. Both need some minor repairs and so I thought I would pick up a new generator in the interim. I'm looking at a Honda EU6500 inverter generator. I have no knowledge of these inverter generators and I'm wondering if they can handle the load of the more traditional units. In particular I use my ES6500 to run our 3 hp well which is down 500 feet. Running current is 14.5 or so amps and I'm guessing it pulls 30 or more to start.

Anyone know if the inverter generators can handle the surge that the older units did?

Or, do you have any recommendations for a standby generator?
Do you have propane or natural gas? I recently purchased a 7kW Briggs & Stratton standby generator from In the past they had free shipping, but have started to raise their prices. It's a good place to read all their generator reviews. In the Briggs 7kW model, they have two types. manual start and automatic. I purchased the "manual" start which had a transfer switch included. There are other brands too, type standby generator in the search field.

FYI: Briggs & Stratton has a new line of EMPOWER generators coming out. They are replacing their older tan models with a charcoal color Briggs & Stratton Generator Website.

I would recommend looking at Brand New Engines. You could purchase a 7kW gen for $1599. + your choice of an automatic transfer switch starting at $399. They have a two year+ warranty.

The best thing about a standby generator is you can run it any type of weather and don't have to worry about gasoline. I hope this helps.
I have propane for my heat and hot water. I prefer a gas (or diesel) genset so I can move it out to my well - about 400' from the house.

I spoke with the Honda dealer again this afternoon and he assures me the EU6500 will do everything my ES6500 did, so I'm taking his word for it. I'll give it a try on the well when I get it next week.

My Honda ES3500 is maybe 12 years old now and has seen me through 4 severe storms with outages from 3-5 days. It still starts on the first pull which is why I never bothered adding a battery for electric start.

I've never seen so many different generators being offered as I have during this storm. Unfortunately most are first generation Chinese units which I suspect won't be worth much when the next storm arrives. I know the Honda is expensive, but when a storm gets me I don't want to be fooling around with a piece of junk.

What bothers me is I can't find any definitive specifications about the motor starting characteristics of inverter generators. Most information seems to indicate that they do not have much in the way of surge capabilities. Guess I'll know next week :D
when comparing generators, make sure you are comparing specs using the fuel you will be using. Natural gas generators develop less current then if it is running on propane (if a dual fuel generator). The specs you read are typically the propane spec (as they sound better).

Propane is nice as it is very trouble free. Gas and diesel always have the problem of fuel going stale and clogging up the fuel system.

I have a Generac 15KV on propane that has an automatic transfer switch that is monitored by my HA system.

Keep in mind that PC UPSs typically "don't like" generators as the sine wave is different on the lower end units than what they expect. Some of the UPSs have settings to allow them to work when on generator power. If you are using PC based automation, this is an important point to keep the system up while the generator is starting during a power out.
I liked the idea of using propane for several appliances (range, oven, dryer and generator), but a friend told me that a generators salesman explained him that diesel generators used to last more in our humid environment because the oily diesel prevented the corrosion of the engine as compared with propane.

I dont know if this is true, but is a point to consider/validate.
My ideal would be a diesel running at 1800 rpm. Based on the past 10 years it appears I need to rely on a generator for 2-3 days every 3 years :D

The Honda I ordered is an inverter/generator. It varies it's speed based on demand. Supposedly this greatly reduces noise and fuel consumption. This is the first 6500 watt Honda inverter I've seen - in fact it was just released this month - so I haven't really seen one. The EM7000i has been around awhile and is similar to the EU6500 I ordered.

Propane is a problem if you want to move your generator around - which I need to do.

IIRC what I've read indicates gasoline gives the most output, with natural and propane lagging behind somewhere. I can't recall where diesel came in.

Thanks for all the comments :D